HEALING IN HIS SHADOW
"Let us bow now before the great saints. Their merciful glances will destroy mountains of sins and do away with all the evil taints of our character." –Sri Sai Satcharitra, Ch. XXXIII.
This saint was a quiet man – pure, humble and true. He attended to the ordinary tasks of life as an ordinary man. Those who met him, did not even suspect that they stood in the presence of a holy man, so simple was he!
But the angels knew of his saintliness. And, one night, as he was rapt in the ecstasy of communion with the Lord, the angels visited him and took the dust of his feet.
As they were about to depart, they said to him, O saint of God! Let us know what you desire. We fain would leave you with some gift!"
The saint smiled and said, "I have no desire at all. I have the longing to love the Lord to distraction!"
"Do ask something, if only to make us happy. May we leave with you the wealth of the world? You are so poor."
"Wealth is worry!" answered the saint. "What shall I do with it?"
Angels persisted, "May we give you power over men?"
"Power is poison," said the saint. "I have no need of it."
"May we give you the gift of reading the minds of men, knowing their innermost thoughts and secrets?"
"I read the Book of the Heart," the saint replied. "That is enough for me. It contains the whole science of living."
"May we give you the gift of prophecy, of knowing what the future hides?" suggested the angels.
"There is no future for me," was the simple answer of the saint and there is no past. I live in the eternal now and here! Free am I from the memories of yesterday and hopes of tomorrow!"
"May we give you the gift of healing?" pleaded the angels.
"The name of my Master heals everything," the saint replied.
One after another, the proposals of the angels were turned down. Then the angels conferred among themselves and decided upon a unique solution to the problem.
They would so bless the shadow of the saint that whenever it was behind him, it would radiate health and happiness and peace to all upon whom it fell, but if the shadow fell in front of him, so that he could see it, no such thing would happen. And this humble saint of God passed through life not knowing how much healing there was in his shadow!